I will begin my column with a brief summary of my purpose and a short
introduction to a new book I am writing. The purpose of these articles, which I will submit on a regular
basis, will be to share personal experiences, revelations, concepts and break throughs I feel
would be of interest to some of you. They will come from my personal studies, classroom experiences,
fellow artists and any other source deemed profitable.

The new book will be titled "Musings Of An Artist" and will consist of at least 50 drawings and paintings.
The parallel page will  deal with the origin of the idea for a painting, rather than the execution. It will
feature many of my latest works as well as past works. The forward will explain this better.....


        "During the past 36 years of my life I have had the privilege of teaching over 13,000 people my interpretation of the Classical or Old Masters approach to drawing and painting. Most of this has included the basics of drawing, shading, composition, and color theory. The results of this and the personal rewards, are beyond my wildest dreams when I started this journey.

        The thoughts expressed in this book will be devoted to the questions that have excited me and many others throughout my entire career. It is what I call the spiritual side of art. Where did an idea come from, what motivates us to pursue these idealistic pursuits that others question and consider a waste of time, with few material rewards. What is this passion that drives us to pick up a brush or a pencil and become totally absorbed in our pursuit of recording this moment, first for ourselves, and  hopefully to share with others.

        Each of the following paintings and drawings will be shared from intimate experiences I, like others, have had in pursuing a particular piece of art. The origin rather than the execution will be emphasized. I will share with you personal reasons that have kept me doing this for nearly 50 years. The reward you will receive, if you persevere, will be an understanding of many of the mysteries associated with this pursuit  of what we call art. You will at some point have enough experience that you will begin to draw from this reservoir of creatively and become lost in things that will unknowingly come  from your brush as you get lost in painting, many times not even remembering what you did.

        This is the point where I believe the spiritual and material meet. Some call it inspiration, others hear voices. I call it " artsplosion". You simply reach a point where you let go, draw from that reservoir of experiences and enter a creative zone that will take you to levels you never dreamed........enjoy."

musings cover

I hope you have enjoyed these few thoughts  and will profit from them now and in the future.
The photo above is from our recent  trip to Grand Coteau. I hope some of you can join us in the near
future. I would appreciate hearing from you.

There  are three necessary pre-requisites to becoming a successful artist. They are:
Creativity...Imagination...Taking Risks...
Lets talk about creativity today. The act of inventing, making or producing. This is a fine intellectual
explanation but gives little help to struggling artists trying to define themselves.  It has no
passion, emotion or quite frankly excitement.  The world looks upon life,  things and events
on the surface and only reacts  to events, many times leaving them cynical, bitter and
hopeless. The artist looks upon life below the surface, and sees inspiration,beauty and hope.
It is as if in those moments of inspiration we see life from the inside,  looking  out  of those things
that grab us. This is why we can  see beauty in the simplest things.  It is all about seeing.

The following sketch personifies the concepts listed above.  It transports me back to that scene,
and I become totally absorbed in the  memory of what moved me to do it.  Others passed it
every day and saw nothing.




 The best way I know  of to try to define imagination is to begin with reality. Much popular art exists today,
without a logical starting point, and has no relationship to anything past, present or future. An artist must
begin with something that is real or it will not relate to anything. Imagination and creativity exaggerate
reality to whatever point one wishes to go, and remains true, as long as it never leaves it's  
foundation which is truth. As someone once said you cannot create reality and truth better
than the Creator.

An artist creates an image not visible to the senses and nerver before seen in reality. Imagination.
Meditation, which simply means to muse, is a word almost extinct to the world we live in today.
I heard some stastics recently stating that the average person is bombarded with over 3000
commercials daily through the various media we are all exposed to. Thats before all other
stimulants compete for our minds. We all muse occasionally, but most of the time our thoughts
are dreamy abstractions. We very seldom take the time to ponder.

To ponder, we must go beyond musing and focus on our objectives in a quiet, sober, deep,
thoughtful and purposful manner. Simply stated, to create and imagine, we must spend some
quiet time alone. I believe this word is the single most feared statement in modern society.
Art is a very logical, thoughtful experience, and one must be willing to pay the price to find
their personal dreams and desires fulfilled. Inspiration is everywhere, and should be recorded
in words or sketches for future use as we experience it. Imagination can only be achieved
in isolation and must be thoughtfully and purposfully  pursued in an individual manner.

Imagination is not about painting, it is about seeing. What every person sees in an individual
and intimate way should be respected. Those thoughts, however, must reach a conclusion in a
logical and timely manner. Imagination is a dream with a deadline. There are no rules or
limitations. What you have to say is important. Say it. Learn, as the rest of us have had
to learn, say what is in your heart, be imune to what others say or thiink. The painting below,
photo courtesy of Dr.  Helen Hedgemon, is a good example of imagineering. Imagine the original
photo was 11 x 14 inches. I used about 1 square inch of the information, and then only about
50% of that. I saw the dark gondolas linked to the sunlit building and made that the center of interest,
leaving a good part of the other information out. The rest I left to the Imagination.

venice canal